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W. D. ROSS M.A. 










It was the desire of the late Master of Balliol, Dr. Ben- 
jamin Jowett, as formulated in his will, that the proceeds 
from the sale of his works, the copyright in which he 
bequeathed to Balliol College, should be used to promote the 
study of Greek Literature, especially by the publication of 
new translations and editions of Greek authors. In a codicil 
to his will he expressed the hope that the translation of 
Aristotle's works begun by his own translation of the Politics 
should be proceeded with as speedily as possible. The 
College resolved that the funds thus accruing to them should, 
in memory of his services to the College and to Greek 
letters, be applied to the subvention of a series of translations 
of the works of Aristotle. Through the co-operation, financial 
and other, of the Delegates of the University Press it has now 
become possible to begin the realization of this design. By 
agreement between the College and the Delegates of the Press 
the present editors were appointed to superintend the carrying 
out of the scheme. The series is published at the joint 
expense and risk of the College and the Delegates of the 

The editors have secured the co-operation of various 
scholars in the task of translation. The translations make 
no claim to finality, but aim at being such as a scholar might 
construct in preparation for a critical edition and commentary. 
Wherever new readings are proposed the fact will be indi- 
cated, but notes justificatory of conjectural emendations 
or defensive of novel interpretations will, where admitted, be 



reduced to the smallest compass. The editors, while retaining 
a general right of revision and annotation, will leave the 
responsibility for each translation to its author, whose name 
will in all cases be given, 

J. A. S. 
W. D. R. 


/ r PARVA NATURALIA : by J. I. Beare and G. R. T. Ross. 
METAPHYSICA (Vol. VIII) : by W. D. Ross. 
HISTORIA ANIMALIUM (Vol. IV) : by D'A. W, Thompson. 

October, 1909. 















In the following translation I have followed in the main 
the text of Apelt (Teubner, 1898) which rests on the recen- 
sion of Bekker, while the Laurentian MS. (S*) is closely 
followed, with a few exceptions. Very different from this 
is the text of Beckmann (Gottingen, 1786) ; but his learned 
notes have been useful. I must acknowledge my obligations 
also to the Latin version in Bussemaker's edition (Didot, 
1878), and to the German rendering of Schnitzer (Stuttgart, 
i8(5o). My thanks are due to Mr. Kenyon of the British 
Museum for kindly transcribing for me Hermann's emen- 
dation (ch. 133) before Apelt's edition came to my hand. 
Many valuable suggestions are due to the kindness of 
Mr. W. D. Ross, Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. 

L. D. D. 

/jme 30, 1 909. 

The De Mirabilibus Auscultationibus, though undoubtedly 
not written by Aristotle, has been included in this series from 
a wish to omit, as nearly as possible, no part of the corpus 
associated with Aristotle's name and printed in the standard 
editions of his works. Much of the book is at least of 
Peripatetic origin. 

W. D. R. 
October 21, 1909. 




1. The Bison. 

2. The Piety of Camels. 

3. The Cuckoo. 

4. Cretan Goats. 

5. Achaean Stags. 

6. Leopard's Bane. 

7. The Sandpiper. 

8. The Hedgehog. 

9. Cephallenian Goats. 
^10. Wild Asses. 

11. The Tortoise. 

12. Martens. 

i^. The Woodpecker. 

14. The Pelican. 

15. Blackbirds. 

16. Flower-honey. 

17. Cappadocian Honey. 

18. Box-honey. 

19. Tree-honey. 

20. Bees' Food. 

21. Bees. 

22. Honey-wine. 

23. Thessalian Serpents. 

24. Laconian Serpents. 

25. Mice. 

26. Mice and Gold. 

27. Scorpions. 

28. Mice of Cyrene. 

29. A Marvellous Whirlpool. 

30. The Elk (Tarandos). 

31. The Madman of Abydos. 

32. Nocturnal Madness. 

33. Fire-mixture and Fire-stone. 

34. The Island of Lipara. 

35. Fires in Media and Persia. 

36. Fire in Atitania. 
27. Volcanoes. 

38. Fire in Lipara : Eruptions of 


39. Fire in Lydia. 

40. Fire-streams in Sicily. 

41. Fire-stone (Spinos). 

42. Mines in Macedonia. 

43. Copper in Cyprus. 


44. The Island of Melos. 

45. Paeonian Gold. 

46. Gold of the Oxus. 

47. Pierian Gold. 

48. Chalybian Iron. 

49. Indian Copper. 

50. Celtic Tin. 

51. The Pantheon Olive. 

52. What happened in the Mines 

of Pergamos. 

53. The Ascanian Lake. 

54. The Wells of Pythopolis. 

55. The Sicihan Strait. 

56. The Spring near Syracuse. ^ 

57. The Spring of Palici. '^ 

58. The Copper of Demonesus. 

59. The Cave of Demonesus. 

60. Concerning Eagles. 

61. Indian Lead. 

62. The Copper of the Mossynoeci. 

63. Hibernating Birds and Fish. 

64. Bees and Grasshoppers. 

65. The Hedgehog. 

66. Jealousy of the Spotted Lizard. 

67. Bears' Fat. 

68. Dumb Frogs and Solid-hoofed 


69. Fruitful Mules. 

70. Frogs of Seriphos. 

71. Wandering Fish. 

72. Fish on Dry Land. 

7^. Fish obtained by Digging. 

74. Paphlagonian Fish. 

75. The Stag's Horn. 

76. The Lynx. 

77. The Sea-calf. 

78. Circaean Poison. 

79. The Birds of Diomedes. 

80. Fruitfulness of Umbria. 

81. The Amber Islands. 

82. Flowers and Wheat of Sicily. 

83. Crete without Wild Beasts. 

84. Island of the Carthaginians. 

85. Road of Heracles. 




86. Celtic Poison. 

87. Silver in Iberia. 

88. The Balearic Islands (Gym- 


89. The Massilian Lake. 

90. Ligurian Slingers. 

91. Ligurian Women. 

92. The Ligurian River. 

93. The Mine of Aethaleia. 

94. The City of Oenarea. 

95. Cumaean Sibyl and River 


96. The Mantle of Alcimenes. 

97. lapygia and Heracles. 

98. The lapygian Stone. 

99. The Orchomenian Cave. 
100. Sardinia and Aristaeus. 
loi. Noises at Lipara. The 

Wonderful Cave. 

102. Lake Avernus. 

103. The Siren Islands. 

104. Mount Delphium. 

105. The Danube. Voyage of the 


106. Sacrifices to the Dead at 


107. Philoctetes and Tlepolemus. 

108. The Tools of Epeus- 

109. Daunia and the Arms of 

no. Legend of the Bronze Neck- 

111. Sicilian Crocus. 

112. The Miraculous Lake in 


113. The Fragrant Mountain and 


114. The Burning Spring. 

115. Burning Stones. 

116. Thracian Barley. 

117. The Healing Fountain. 

118. Falconry, 

119. Venetian Jackdaws. 

120. The Beetles' Death. 

121. The Fatal Spring. 

122. Hares' Livers. Place of 

Death. Temple of Dio- 

123. The Miracle of Dionysus. 


124. Moles. 

125. Amphibious Mice. 

126. The Crows of Crannon. 

127. Bitumen of Apollonia. Burn- 

ing Ground. 


128. Illyrian Cattle. 

129. Paeonian Wild Oxen. 

130. The Sicilian Strait. 

131. The Tomb of Deiope. 

132. Palm-island. 

133. The Old Inscription. 

134. Salt obtained by Digging. 

135. Spanish Silver. 

136. Deserts beyond Gades. 

Shoals of Tunnies. 

137. The Pedasaean Goat. 

138. Illyrian Salt. 

139. The Scorpion-Fighter. 

140. Naxian Wasps. 

141. Scythian Poison. 

142. The Cyprian Snake. 

143. The Wild Pear of Ceos. 

144. White Bears. 

145. The Hyaena. 

146. The Lion- Killer. 

147. Vultures and Beetles. 

148. The Lizards' Bite. 

149. Mesopotamian Snakes. - 

150. Snakes of the Euphrates. 

151. The Sacred Snake. 

152. The Sacred Water of Tyana. 

153. The Sacred Olive. 

154. The Race of the Pious. 

155. The Contrivance of Phidias. 

1 56. The Statue of Bitys. 

157. The Black Mountains. 

158. The White-leaved Rod. 

159. The Stone called 'Modon'. 

160. The Plant called 'Sistros'. 

161. The Mad Vine, 

162. The Cylindrical Stone. 

163. The Love- Plant. 

164. Putrefaction- Serpents 


165. The Dark Adder and the 


166. The Nile-Stone. 

167. The Sound-minded Stone 


168. The Rhine and Danube. 

169. The Sybaris and Crathis. 

1 70. The Wool-dyeing Rivers. 

171. The Lance- Herb. 

172. The Fountain Arethusa. 

173. The Stone of Madness. 

174. The Changing Stone. 

175. The Golden Bull of Artemis. 

176. Aetolian Moles. 

177. Pregnancy of Elephants. 

178. Pleasant. Madness. 




1 Men say that in Paeonia, on the mountain called 830* 
Hesaenus, which forms the boundary between the Paeonian 5 
and Maedian ^ districts, there is found a wild beast, which is 
called Bolinthos,^ but by the Paeonians is named Monaepos. 
They state that this in its general nature is similar to the 

ox, but surpasses it in size and strength, and moreover is 
distinguished from it by its mane ; for like the horse it has 10 
a mane hanging down very thick from the neck, and from 
the crown of the head as far as the eyes. It has horns, 
not such as oxen have, but bent downwards, the tip being 
low down near the ears ; and these severally contain more 
than three pints, and are very black, and shine as though ^5 
they were peeled ; ^ and when the hide is stripped off it 
occupies a space capable of containing eight couches. 
When the animal is struck with a weapon it flees, and 
only stops when it is quite exhausted. Its flesh has an 
agreeable taste. It defends itself by kicking, and voiding 
excrement over a distance of about twenty-four feet. It 
easily and frequently employs this kind of defence, and the 20 
excretion hums so severely that the hair of the dogs is 
scraped off. They say, however, that the excrement pro- 
duces this effect only when the animal is disturbed, but 
when it is undisturbed it does not burn. When they bring 
forth young, assembling in larger numbers and being all 
gathered closely together, the full-grown ones bring forth, 
and void excrement as a defence round their young ; for 
the animal discharges a large quantity of this excretion. 

2 In Arabia aiunt camelos non inire matres suas ; sed 830** 
etiamsi quis cogat, nolunt ; namque curatorem admissario 
aliquando destitutum operto* matrem submisisse ferunt 
pullo. Is^ vero coitum tunc quidem, ut videtur, absolvit; 
paulo tamen post armentarium morsibus necavit. ^° 

^ fxrjdiKrjp MSS. Sylburg corrects to MaidiKrjp. Cf. c. 115. 
^ Bison, or wild ox, probably the same as the Bonasos. 
' Gesner conj. XeXiTraarfxeva. Cf. HzsL An. ix. 45. 
* al. opertam. Cf. Hist, An. ix. 47 ; Ovid, Met. x. 324. 

AR. M. A. 3 


Men say that the cuckoos in Hellce, when about to 3 
breed, do not build a nest, but lay their eggs in the nests 
of ring-doves or turtle-doves, and neither sit on their eggs, 
nor hatch them, nor rear their young ; but when the chick 
15 is born and reared, it expels its companions from the nest. 
Moreover, it appears, it grows large and beautiful, so that 
it easily overcomes the rest. They say that the ring-doves 
also take such a delight in it that they even assist it to 
drive out their own young. 

ao The she-goats in Crete, when they are shot with arrows, 4 
seek, it would appear, for the dittany, which grows there ; 
for as soon as they have eaten it, they straightway expel 
the arrows from their bodies. 

Men say that some of the stags in Achaea, when they 5 
have shed their horns, proceed to places of such a kind that 
831^ they cannot be easily found ; and that they act in this way 
because they have no means of defence, and also because 
the parts from which they have shed their horns give them 
pain ; and it is stated that, in the case of many of these 
animals, ivy is seen growing in the place of the horns. 

Men say that in Armenia a certain poison grows, which 6 
is called leopard's bane. So, when a leopard is seen, they 
anoint a victim with this, and let it go. When the leopard 
5 touches it, she goes, it would appear, in quest of human 
excrement. Therefore the hunters put it in a vessel, and 
suspend it from a tree, so that the leopard, by leaping up 
towards it and becoming exhausted, may be paralysed by 
10 it, and fall into their power. 

Men say that in Egypt the sandpipers fly into the mouths 7 
of the crocodiles, and cleanse their teeth, pulling out the 
pieces of flesh, which stick in their snouts, while the croco- 
diles are pleased, and do them no harm. 

IS Men say that the hedgehogs in Byzantium perceive when 8 
north or south winds are blowing, and immediately change 
their holes ; and, when the winds are southerly, make their 
holes opening out of the ground, but, when they are 
northerly, out of the walls. 


9 The she-goats in Cephallenia do not drink, as it appears, 20 
like other quadrupeds ; but daily turning their faces towards 
the sea, open their mouths, and take in the breezes. 

10 In Syria inquiunt inter silvestres asinos ^ unum praeire 
armento, atque si iunior aliquis pullus feminam conscenderit, 
ducem indignari, et hunc tantisper persequi, dum compre- 
hendat ac in crura posteriora conquiniscens ore verenda 25 

11 Men say that tortoises, when they have eaten part of 
a viper, eat marjoram as an antidote, and, if the creature 
fails to find it at once, it dies ; that many of the country- 

' folk, wishing to prove whether this is true, whenever they 
see it acting in this manner, pluck up the marjoram, and 30 
when they have done so, the tortoise is presently seen 

12 Viverrae aiunt genitalia esse reliquorum animalium na- 831^ 
turae absimilia,dum ipsis, quomodocumque demum affectis, 
semper sint instar ossium solida. Singulare urinae stillicidio 
laborantibus remedium esse perhibent rasaque exhiberi. 

13 Men say that the bird called the woodpecker climbs 5 
upon the trees like lizards, both hanging from and standing 
on the branches. It is further stated that it feeds upon 
the grubs out of the trees, and digs so deeply into the 
trees, in its search for the grubs, that it even brings the 
trees down. 

lA Men say that the pelicans dig up the mussels that are 10 
found in the rivers, and swallow them ; then, when they 
have devoured a large quantity of these, they vomit them 
up again, and thereupon eat the meat of the mussels, but 
do not touch the shells. 

15 Men say that in Cyllene in Arcadia the blackbirds are 
born white, which happens nowhere else, and that they 15 
give utterance to various sounds, and go forth by the light 
of the moon ; but that, if any one should attempt to capture 
them by day, they are caught with great difficulty. 

^ ova>v : iTTTvav Beckm. ; but cf. Plin. viii. 30, Oppian, Ven, iii. 205. 

B 3 


It IS stated by certain persons that what is called flower- l6 
20 honey is produced in Melos and Knidos, and that, while 
fragrant in smell, it lasts for only a short time ; and that 
in it ^ bee-bread is produced. 

In some parts of Cappadocia they say that the honey is I? 
made without a honey-comb, and that in consistency it 
resembles olive-oil. 

At Trapezus in Pontus the honey gathered from the 18 
box-tree is produced, having an oppressive smell, and they 
25 say that this drives out of their senses those who are sound 
in mind, while it completely cures those who suffer from 

Men say that in Lydia also the honey is gathered from 19 
the trees in abundance, and that the inhabitants form 
out of it balls without wax, and cutting off portions by 
30 very violent rubbing ^ make use of it. It is produced indeed 
in Thrace likewise, not so solid, but as it were of a sandy 
nature. They say that all honey when congealed preserves 
832^ an equal volume, not like water and all other liquids. 

The grass of Chalcis and almonds are most useful for 20 
making honey ; for they say that a very large quantity is 
produced by them. 

People say that bees are stupefied by unguents, and are 21 
unable to endure the smell of them ; while some say that 
5 they especially sting those who have been anointed. 

They say that among the Illyrians those who are called 22 
Taulantians make wine out of honey. When they have 
squeezed out the honey-combs, they pour water on the 
honey, and boil it in a caldron until half is consumed ; then 
they pour it out into earthen jars, fill them half ^ full, and 
lay them on boards ; and on these they say it ferments for 
10 a long time, and becomes like wine, while for the rest it 
is sweet and strong. But now they state that this mode 
of preparation was adopted also among some of the in- 
habitants of Greece, so that the drink did not differ from 

' Buss, reads 6\iyoxp6iiop de Kara rqv e., omitting iv rovra. 

^ Because of the hardness of the honey. 

^ Tjixiaeay al. rjdiaTa. Probably, as Heyne thinks, these words crept 
into the text from a marginal gloss. Apelt conj. ncofxaaavTes for noirj' 
aavT€f, rejecting f]^iorea : cf. 845* 6. 


old wine, and that in later times, when they inquired into 
the method of mixing it, they were unable to discover it. 

23 They relate that in Thessaly once upon a time so large 

a number of serpents was bred alive that, if they had not 15 
been exterminated by the storks, the inhabitants would 
have left the country. Wherefore they also honour the 
storks, and it is unlawful to kill them, and, if any one 
kills them, he becomes liable to the same penalties as 
a homicide. 

24 Likewise also it is related that there was once in 
Lacedaemon so great a multitude of serpents that the 20 

' Lacedaemonians, owing to a scarcity of corn, used them 
as food ; whence also they say that the Pythian priestess 
called them ' serpent-necked '} 

25 It is said that in the island of Gyaros ^ the mice eat iron. 

26 Men say that among the Chalybians, in an islet situated 
beyond them, gold is collected by mice in large numbers : 
wherefore also, as it appears, they rip up those that are 25 
found in the mines. 

27 It is said that travellers going from Susa to Media meet 
with an immense multitude of scorpions at the second stage. 
So the King of the Persians, whenever he was passing 
through the place, remained there for three days, ordering 
all his men to hunt them down ; and he gave a prize to him 30 
who caught the greatest number. ' 

28 Men say that in Cyrene there is not merely one sort 832^ 
of mice, but several kinds differing both in forms and in 
colours ; for some are broad-faced, like mustelae,'^ and 
some like hedgehogs, which they call ' echines '. 

29 In Cilicia they say that there is a whirlpool, in which 
birds, and animals besides, that have been suffocated, when 5 
immersed come to life again. 

^ Meziriac conj. 6(J)io^6povs. 

^ The MSS. read Kvnpcp. Marsilius Cagnatus suggests Tvapco (one 
of the Sporades) on the authority of Antigonus Caryst. c. 21, and 
Plin. viii. 57. 

^ The weasel is not broad-faced. It is doubtful what animal 
Aristotle is referring to. Cf. Bonitz's I/tdex, 145^ 43, 


Among the Scythians who are called Geloni, they say 30 
that there is a certain wild animal, excessively rare indeed, 

10 which is named Tarandos.^ Now this is said to change 
the colour of its hair, according to the place in which it 
may be ; and for this reason it is hard to catch ; for it 
becomes in colour like to trees and places, and its sur- 
roundings generally. But the most wonderful thing is 
its changing its hair ; for other animals change the colour 

15 of the skin, such as the chameleon and polypus. In size 
it resembles an ox, while the form of its face is like that of 
a stag. 

It is said that a certain man in Abydos being deranged 31 
in mind, and coming into the theatre during many days 
30 looked on (as though actors were performing a play), and 
applauded ; and, when he was restored to his senses, he 
declared that that was the happiest time he had ever 

Moreover they say that at Tarentum a certain wine- 32 
merchant was mad at night, but sold his wines during the 
day : he also kept the key of the cellar attached to his 
35 girdle, and though many tried to steal it from him and get 
possession of it, he never lost it. 

In the island of Tenos they say there is a small bowl 33 
containing a mixture, from which people kindle fire very 
readily. Moreover in the Thracian Bithynia^ there is 
found in the mines the stone which is called *spinos',^ 
30 from which they say that fire is kindled. 

People say that in the island of Lipara there is a certain * 34 
place where the air is sucked down into the earth, and 
that if they bury a pot there they can put therein what- 
ever they please and boil it. 

833^ Both in Media and in Psittacene, a district of Persia, 35 
there are fires burning, that in Media small, but that in 
Psittacene large and with a bright flame ; for which reason 
also the King of the Persians constructed kitchens near it. 

^ Elk, or reindeer. ^ Sithonia ? (conj. Sylburg). ' Alum-slate .^ 
* Reading with Apelt nva danvorjv instead of vulg. rives yrjv. This 
local use of elo-nvor] is peculiar. 


Both these are in level, not in elevated places. These fires 5 
are conspicuous both by night and by day, while those 
in Pamphylia are seen only at night. 

36 They say also that at Atitania, near the borders of the 
district of Apollonia, there is a certain rock, and fire rising 
from it is not visible, but whenever oil is poured thereon 
blazes up. 

37 It is said that the places outside the Pillars of Hercules 10 
burn, some constantly, others at night only, as Hanno's 
Circumnavigation relates. The fire also in Lipara is visible 
and flaming, yet not by day, but only at night. They say 
also that in Pithecusae the ground is fiery, and extraordi- 15 
narily hot, yet not burning. 

38 vXenophanes states that the fire in Lipara once failed for 
sixteen years, but returned in the seventeenth year. They 
say that the lava-stream in Etna is neither flaming nor 
continuous, but returns only after an interval of many 

39 It is said that in Lydia a vast amount of fire blazed up, ao 
and continued burning for seven days. 

40 The lava-stream in Sicily is an extraordinary pheno- 
menon. The breadth of the fire that blazes up amounts to 
forty stadia, while the height to which it is carried amounts 
to three. 

41 They say that the stone in Thrace which is called 25 
'spinos' burns when split in two, and that it also, like 
charcoal-embers, when put together again, and sprinkled 
with water, burns ; and that the stone called * marieus ^ ' 
does the same. 

42 At Philippi in Macedonia they state that there are 
mines, the refuse from which, they say, increases and pro- 30 
duces gold, and that this is an observable fact. 

* Cod. Vind., with two other MSS., has fiapiddv, for which Salmasius 
suggests vd(j)dav. Sylburg suggests OpaKiauy the Thracian stone being 
mentioned in c. 115. Cf. Alexandri Problemata^ p. 322 Xi'^os dpaKiasy 
v8aTi fxev KaLOjieuo^, eXalco de (r^€vvvfievos. 


They say that in Cyprus, at the place called Tyrrhias,^ 43 
copper is produced in like manner ; for men having cut it 
up, as it appears, into small pieces, sow it, and then, when 
the rains have come on, it grows and springs up, and so is 

They say that in the island of Melos, in those parts of 44 
5 the ground that are dug up, the earth fills itself up again. 

In Paeonia they state that when continuous showers have 45 
fallen, and the ground is thoroughly soaked, there is found 
what is called gold without fire.^ They state, too, that in 
Paeonia the ground is so rich in gold that many persons 
10 have found gold even exceeding a pound in weight. And 
they say that certain persons, who had found them, brought 
two nuggets to the king, one weighing three pounds, the 
other five ; and they say that these are set beside him on 
the table, and, if he eats anything, he first offers a libation 
upon them. 

15 They say that among the Bactrians also the river Oxus 4^ 
carries down numerous small nuggets of gold, and more- 
over that in Iberia the river called Theodorus ^ both throws 
out much gold on its banks, and likewise also carries it 
down the stream. 

They state also that in Pieria, a district of Macedonia, 47 
20 some uncoined gold was buried by the ancient kings, and, 
while there were four cavities, from one of them gold grew 
up a span in length. 

It is said that the production of the Chalybian and 48 
Amisenian* iron is very peculiar; for it grows together, 
as at least they assert, from the sand that is carried down 

25 by the rivers. Some say that they simply wash this, and 
smelt it in a furnace ; but others that, after frequently wash- 
ing the deposit left by the first washing, they burn it, and 
insert what is called the fire-proof stone which is abundant 
in the country. This iron is far more beautiful than the 

30 other kinds. But if it were not burnt in the furnace it 

^ Meursius conj. t6 \ey. Kovpiou. Cf Strabo, xiv. p. 683. 
■^ i. e. unsmehed, solid. 

^ Identified with the Durius, mod. Douro. Cf. Rose, Arisf. frag., 
p. 206 (Teubner). Beckm. conj. Qepfxcodav (in Cappadocia). 

* Amisuswas a town in Pontus, mod. Eski Samsun. Rose conj. do-rjfxov. 


would not at all differ, as it appears, from silver. Now 
they say that it alone is not liable to rust, but that it is not 
very plentiful. 

49 They say also that among the Indians the copper is so 
bright, pure, and free from rust that it cannot be dis- 
tinguished in colour from gold ; moreover that among the 
cups of Darius there are certain goblets, and these not 5 
inconsiderable in number, as to which, except by their 
smell, one could not otherwise decide whether they are of 
copper or gold. 

50 They say that the Celtic tin melts much more quickly 
than lead. A proof of its fusibility is that it is believed to 
melt even in water : at any rate, it seems, it stains quickly. 
Now it melts in the cold ^ also, when the weather is frosty, 10 
because, as they say, the hot substance inherent in it is by 
reason of its weakness shut up and compressed within. 

51 ' In the Pantheon ^ there is an olive-tree, which is called 
that * of the beautiful crowns '. But all its leaves are con- 
trary in appearance to those of other olive-trees ; for it ^ 
has the pale-green outside, instead of inside, and it sends 15 
forth branches, like those of the myrtle, suitable for crowns. 
From this Heracles took a shoot, and planted it at 
Olympia. and from it are taken the crowns which are 
given to the combatants. This tree is near the river 
Ilissus, sixty ^ stadia distant from the river. It is sur- 
rounded by a wall, and a severe penalty is imposed on 20 
any one who touches it. From this the Eleians took the 
shoot, and planted it in Olympia, and from it they took the 
crowns which they bestowed. 

52 In the Lydian mines near Pergamos, which also Croesus 

had worked, the following incident occurred. When a 

certain war arose the workmen fled to them ; but, as the 25 

mouth was built up, they were suffocated ; and a long 

time afterwards, when the mines were cleared out, vessels, 

which they used to employ for daily uses, such as jars 

^ Beckm. conj. ^i^yyiacnv. ^ At Athens. 

' Kuster reads e^a yap oIk, dXX* ivTos. But the schol. explains 
;(Xa)pa by XeiiKa. 

* Perhaps ' six ' should be read» as ^' = 60 might easily arise from e^. 
Schol. Theocr. iv. 7 says okto)* 


30 and the like, were found petrified. These, being filled 
with whatever liquid it might be, had been turned to stone, 
as well as the bones of the men. 

In the Ascanian lake the water is so impregnated with 53 
soda that garments have need of no other cleansing sub- 
stance ; if one leaves them too long in the water they fall 
to pieces. 

Near the Ascanian lake is Pythopolis, a village about 54 
35 one hundred and twenty stadia distant from Cius, in which 
834^ all the wells are dried up in the winter, so that one cannot 
dip a pitcher into them ; but in the summer they are 
filled up to the brim. 

The strait between Sicily and Italy increases and dimin- 55 
ishes along with the changes of the moon. 
5 It is stated also that on the road to Syracuse there 5^ 
is in a meadow a spring, neither large nor containing much 
water ; but, when once a great crowd met at the place, 
it supplied water in abundance. 

There is also a certain spring in Palici ^ in Sicily^ about 57 
as large as the space ten couches would occupy. This 
throws up water to the height of six cubits, so that it 
10 is thought by those who see it that the plain will be 
inundated ; and again it returns to its original state. 
There is also a form of oath, which is considered to be 
sacred there ; whatever oaths a man swears he writes on 
a little tablet, and throws into the water. If therefore 
he swears truly, the tablet floats on the top ; but if he 
15 swears falsely, they say that the tablet grows heavy and dis- 
appears, while the man is burnt. Wherefore the priest takes 
security from him that some one shall purify the temple. 

Demonesus, the island of the Chalcedonians, received 58 

ao its name from Demonesus, who first cultivated it. The 

place contains the mine of cyanos and gold-solder. Of 

this latter the finest sort is worth its weight in gold, for 

it is also a remedy for the eyes. In the same place there 

* It was called 1) ToyvIlaXiKayu XifivT], mod. Lago di Naftia. We should 
have expected eV IlaXtKrj, as the Palici were twin sons of Zeus and 
Thalia, whose temple stood near a volcanic lake, in which two jets of 
gas throw up the water to a great height, and hence became sacred to 
the two indigenous deities, called Palici 6ia to dnodavouTcxs rrdXiv els 
dvdpoiTTovs Ueo-Oai. Cf. Sotion, 8. Steph. Byzant. UaXiKrj. 


is also copper, obtained by divers, two fathoms below the 
surface of the sea, from which was made the statue in 
Sicyon in the ancient temple of Apollo, and in Pheneus 
the so-called statues of mountain-copper. On these is the 25 
inscription — ' Heracles, son of Amphitryon, having cap- 
tured Elis, dedicated them '. Now he captured Elis 
guided, in accordance with an oracle, by a woman, whose 
father, Augeas, he had slain. Those who dig the copper 
become very sharp-sighted, and those who have no eye- 
lashes grow them : wherefore also physicians use the 30 
flower of copper ^ and Phrygian ashes for the eyes. 

59 Now in the same place there is a cave which is called 
the pretty ^ cave. In this pillars have been formed by con- 
gelation from certain drippings of water : and this becomes 
evident from their being contracted ^ towards the ground, 
for the narrowest * part is there.^ 

60 Of the offspring of a pair of eagles, so long as they pair 35 
together, every second one is a sea-eagle. Now from the 835* 
sea-eagles springs an osprey, and from these black eagles 
and vultures : yet these on the other hand do not bring 5 
the breed of vultures to a close, but produce the great 
vultures, and these are barren. And a proof is this, that 

no one has ever seen a nest of a great vulture. 
61 A wonderful thing they say happens among the Indians 
with regard to the lead there ; for when it has been melted 
and poured into cold water it jumps out of the water. 

62 Men say that the copper of the Mossynoeci is very 
brilliant and white, no tin being mixed with it ; but there 10 
is a kind of earth there, which is smelted with it.^ They 
state that the man who discovered the mixture did not 
inform any one ; so the copper vessels formerly produced 
in these parts were excellent, but those subsequently made 
were no longer so. 

63 Men state that in Pontus some birds during the winter 15 

^ Capillary red copper-ore. 

^ Or hollowed : cf. Horn. Od. ix. 114 eV o-TrfVo-i yhaf^ivpoim. 

^ Weise reads avayayrj. * Weise o-reyj/oraroj/. 

° fto-i . . . arcvoiraTai has been suggested. 

^ This seems to have been cadmia, and the mixture what is called 
Prince Rupert's metal, or white copper. The Mossynoeci lived on 
the southern shores of the Black Sea, and derived their name from the 
wooden towers {yi-oaavv) in which they dwelt. Cf Xen. Anab. v. 4. 26. 


the Spartan, and that having been examined they were 
put to death by the Tarentines. 

In the island of Diomedeia, which lies in the Adriatic, 79 
they say there is a temple of Diomedes, wonderful and 
holy, and round the temple there sit in a circle birds of 

10 a large size, having great hard beaks. These birds, they 
state, if Greeks land at the place, keep quiet ; but if any of 
the barbarians who live around them approach, they fly 
up, and soaring in the air swoop down upon their heads, 
and, wounding them with their beaks, kill them. The 

15 story goes that the companions of Diomedes were meta- 
morphosed ^ into these, when they had been shipwrecked 
off the island and Diomedes was treacherously slain by 
Aeneas, who was then king of those regions. 

20 Among the Unibrians they say that the cattle bring 80 
forth young three times in the year, and that the earth 
yields many times more fruit than the seed that is sown : 
that the women also are prolific, and rarely bring forth 
only one child at a time, but most of them have two or 

25 In the Amber islands, which are situated in the corner 81 
of the Adriatic, they say that there are two statues 
erected, the one of tin, the other of bronze, wrought after 
the ancient fashion. It is stated that these are works of 
Daedalus, a memorial of old times, when he, fleeing before 

30 Minos from Sicily and Crete, put in to these places. But 
they say that the river Eridanus^ formed these islands 
by alluvial deposit. Moreover, as it appears, there is near 
the river a lake, containing hot water, and a smell exhales 
from it heavy and unpleasant, and neither does any animal 
drink from it, nor does a bird fly over it, but falls and dies. 
836 It has a circumference of two hundred stadia, a width of 
about ten. Now the inhabitants tell the story that Phae- 
thon, when struck by the thunderbolt, fell into this lake ; 
and that therein are many black poplars, from which falls 
5 what is called amber.^ This, they say, resembles gum, and 

* Cf. Lycophr. 594 rriKpav eTaipau enTepoifjLevTjv ldo)v | olaxvofiiKTOv poipav. 
"^ Po. 

^ For the story of the tears of the Hehades being changed into amber 
cf. Ov. Met^ ii. 365. So Marcianus, the geographer, describes amber 


hardens like a stone, and, when collected by the inhabitants, 
is carried over to the Greeks. To these islands, therefore, 
they state that Daedalus came, and, having obtained 
possession of them, dedicated in one of them his own 
statue, and in the other that of his son Icarus ; but that 10 
afterwards, when the Pelasgians, who had been expelled 
from Argos, sailed against them, Daedalus fled, and arrived 
at the island of Icarus. 

82 In Sicily, in the neighbourhood of the place called 
Enna,^ there is said to be a cave, round about which 15 
they assert that there not only grows a quantity of other 
kinds of flowers at every season of the year, but that 
especially an immense space is covered with violets, which 
fill the adjoining country with fragrance, so that the hunts- 
men are unable to track the hares, as their dogs are 
overcome by the smell. Through this chasm there is an 
invisible subterranean passage, by which they say Pluto 20 
carried ofl" Proserpine. In this place it is said that wheat 

is found, resembling neither the native sorts, which people 
use, nor other kinds that are imported, but possessed of 
a great peculiarity. And this they use as an argument to 25 
prove that the wheat-fruit appeared first among them- 
selves ; whence also they lay claim to Demeter, affirming 
that the goddess was born amongst them. 

83 In Crete men say that there are no wolves, bears, and 
vipers, and similarly no wild beasts like them, because 
Zeus was born therein. 

84 In the sea outside the Pillars of Hercules they say that 30 
an island was discovered by the Carthaginians, desolate, 
having wood of every kind, and navigable rivers, and 
admirable for its fruits besides, but distant several days' 
voyage from them. But, when the Carthaginians often 837* 
came to this island because of its fertility, and some even 
dwelt there, the magistrates of the Carthaginians gave 
notice that they would punish with death those who should 

sail to it, and destroyed all the inhabitants, lest they should 5 

thus — o (fyaaiv elvai baKpvov anoKiOov^iivov | Biavyfs, alyeipcov aTroora- 
XayfjLo. Ti. 

^ The Laurentian MS. has ewav : vulgo anur). Instead oinepl r. k. 'e. 
Weise reads rfj KoXovuhrj Airvij. So Beckm. Cf. Sil. Ital. xiv. 238 sqq. 


spread a report about it, or a large number might gather 
together to the island in their time,^ get possession of the 
authority, and destroy the prosperity of the Carthaginians. 

From Italy as far as the country of the Celts, Celto- 85 
ligurians, and Iberians, they say there is a certain road, 

10 called the * road of Heracles ', by which whether a Greek 
or a native travels, he is watched by the neighbouring 
tribes, so that he may receive no injury ; for those amongst 
whom the injury has been done must pay the penalty. 

They say that among the Celts there is a poison called 86 
by them 'arrow-poison', which they assert produces cor- 
ruption so quickly that the Celtic huntsmen, when they 

15 have shot a stag, or any other animal, run up to it in haste, 
and cut out the wounded part of the flesh, before the 
poison spreads, as well for the sake of the food as to 
prevent the animal from putrefying. They say, however, 
that the bark of the oak was found to be an antidote for 
this; but others maintain that the antidote is something 

20 different, a leaf, which they call ravenswort,^ because a 
raven, which had tasted the poison, and become sick, was 
observed by them to hasten for this leaf, and, after devouring 
it, to be delivered from its pain. 

In Iberia they say that, when the coppices were set on 87 

25 fire by certain shepherds, and the earth was heated by the 
wood, the country visibly flowed with silver ; and when, 
after some time, earthquakes succeeded, and the ground in 
different places burst asunder, a large quantity of silver was 
collected, which brought in no ordinary revenue to the 

30 In the islands called Gymnesiae,^ that lie off the coast 88 
of Iberia, which they assert to be the largest, after the so- 
called seven * islands, they say that oil is not produced 
from olives, but from the turpentine-tree in very large 
quantities, and adapted for every purpose. Moreover they 
affirm that the Iberians, who inhabit those islands, are so 

35 fond of women that they give to the merchants four or 

five males in exchange for one female. When they receive 

^ Reading eV alroov. ^ Hawkweed. ^ Balearic. 

* i. e. Sardinia, Sicily, Cyprus, Crete, Euboea, Corsica, and Lesbos. 
Timaeus op. Strabo, xiv. p. 967. 


their pay, while serving with the Carthaginians, they pur- 
chase, it seems, nothing else but women ; for no man 
amongst them is allowed to have gold or silver. But as 
a reason for their forbidding the introduction of money, 5 
some such statement as this is added, that Heracles made 
his expedition against Iberia for the sake of the riches of 
the inhabitants. 

89 In the country of the Massilians, on the borders of 
Liguria, they say there is a certain lake, and that this 
boils up and overflows, and casts out so great a quantity 10 
of fish as to surpass belief. But whenever the monsoons 
blow the soil is heaped up upon it (such dust arises there), 
and its surface becomes solid like the ground, and the 
natives, piercing it with tridents,^ easily take out of it as 15 
much fish as they please. 

90 It is said that some of the Ligurians sling so skilfully 
that, when they see several birds, they contend with one 
another about which bird each is preparing to strike, pre- 
suming that all will easily hit their mark. 

91 They say that there is also this peculiarity amongst them : 20 
the women bring forth whilst engaged in work, and after 
washing the child with water, they immediately dig and 
hoe, and attend to their other household duties, which they 
were obliged to perform before the time of their delivery. 

92 This is also a marvel among the Ligurians : they say 35 
that there is a river ^ in their country whose stream is lifted 
up on high and flows along so that those on the other side 
cannot be seen. 

93 In Etruria there is said to be a certain island named 
Aethaleia, in which out of a certain mine in former days 
copper was dug, from which they say that all the copper 
vessels amongst them have been wrought ; that afterwards 30 
it could no longer be found : but, when a long interval of 
time had elapsed, from the same mine iron was produced, 
which the Etrurians, who inhabit the town called Popu- 
lonium, use to the present day. 

* A three-pronged fishing-spear, called in Scotland a leister. 
2 Arno. Cf. Strab. v. 340. 


Now in Etruria there is a certain city called Oenarea,^ 94 
which they say is exceedingly strong ; for in the midst of 
35 it there is a lofty hill, rising upwards to the height of thirty 
stadia, and having at its foot wood of all sorts, and waters. 
838* They say, therefore, that the inhabitants, fearing lest some 
one should become despot, set over themselves those of their 
slaves who had been manumitted, and these have dominion 
over them ; but every year they appoint others of the 
same class in their stead. 

5 At Cumae in Italy there is shown, it appears, a sub- 95 
terranean bed-chamber of the prophetic Sibyl, who, they 
say, was of a very great age, and had always remained 
a virgin, being a native of Erythrae, but by some of the 
10 inhabitants of Italy called a native of Cumae, and by some 
named Melancraera.^ It is said that this place is under the 
sway of the Lucanians. They state moreover that in those 
parts about Cumae there is a certain river called Cetus,^ and 
they say that whatever is thrown into this is after a con- 
siderable time first coated over, and finally turns into stone. 

15 Men say that for Alcimenes, the Sybarite, a mantle was 96 
prepared of such magnificence, that it was exhibited at 
Lacinium during the festival of Hera, to which all the 
Italians assemble, and that it was admired more than all 
the things that were shown there. Of this they say that 

20 Dionysius the Elder obtained possession, and sold it to 
the Carthaginians for one hundred and twenty talents. It 
was of purple, fifteen cubits in width, and w^as adorned on 
either side with little figures inwoven, above with Susa, 

35 below with Persians ; in the middle were Zeus, Hera, Themis, 
Athene, Apollo, and Aphrodite. Near each extremity was 
Alcimenes, and on both sides Sybaris. 

In the neighbourhood of the lapygian promontory, from 97 
a certain place in which, as the legends relate, the fight of 
30 Heracles with the giants took place, they say that ichor 

^ Steph. Byzant., who has copied these words, gives Olva as the name 
of the city. Victorius reads OvXareppa (=Volaterra). The description 
in the text corresponds with Strabo's account of Volaterra, v. p. 154. 

* Black-haired. 

^ Cod. Vind. KaKennav (some MSS. MaKfrrnau). The correction was 
made by a later hand. The Silarus seems meant, cp. Sil. Ital. viii. 582. 


flows in great abundance, and of such a nature that, owing 
to the oppressiveness of the smell, the sea off that place is 
innavigable. They state besides that in many parts of 
Italy many memorials of Heracles still exist on the roads 
by which he travelled. Near Pandosia in lapygia footprints 
of the god are shown, on which no one must tread. 

98 There is also in the neighbourhood of the lapygian 
promontory a stone big enough to load a waggon, which 838^ 
they say was lifted up by him ^ and transferred to this 
spot, and it was actually moved with one finger. 

99 In the city of the Orchomenians in Boeotia they say that 
a fox was seen, which, being pursued by a dog, entered 5 
into a certain subterranean passage, and that the dog entered 
along with her and, barking, produced a great noise, as 
though he found a wide space about him ; but the hunts- 
men, thinking there was something marvellous there, broke 
open the entrance, and forced their way in as well: and 
that, seeing the light coming in by certain holes, they had 10 
a clear view of all that was in the cave, and went and 
reported it to the magistrates. 

100 In the island of Sardinia they say there are many 

beautiful buildings constructed in the ancient Greek style, 

and, amongst others, domes carved in remarkable pro- 15 

portions. It is said that these were built by lolaus, son of 

Iphicles, when he, having taken with him the Thespiadae, 

the sons of Heracles, sailed to those parts with the intention 

of settling there, considering that they belonged to him 

through his relationship with Heracles, because Heracles 20 

was lord, of all the western land. This island, as it appears, 

was formerly called Ichnussa, because it was shaped in its 

outline very similarly to a human footstep.^ It is stated to 

have been previously fertile and productive ; for the legend 

states that Aristaeus, whom they assert to have been most 

skilful in agriculture among the ancients, ruled over these 25 

parts, which were formerly occupied by many large birds. 

At the present day, however, it is no longer fertile, because 

when ruled by the Carthaginians it had all its fruits that 

were useful for food destroyed, and death was fixed as the 

' Sc. Heracles. ^ Gr. Ix^oS' 

C 2 


clearer proofs of this, that they ^ did not sail out through 

30 the Symplegades, citing the poet himself as a witness in 
the case of those regions ; for (say they) he, pointing out 
the gravity of the danger, states that it is impossible to sail 
past the place ^ — 

Planks of ships and bodies of men together are carried 

By the waves of the sea and storms of fire destructive. 

840* As regards the ' Dark Rocks ' indeed it is not said that 

they send forth fire ; but it happens near the strait which 

divides Sicily from Italy, as the eruptions of fire are found 

on both sides ; while not only is the island continually 

5 burning, but also the stream of lava round Etna often 
spreads over the country. 

In Tarentum they say that at certain times people offer 106 
sacrifices to the shades of the Atridae, Tydidae, Aeacidae, 
and Laertiadae, and besides that they celebrate a sacrifice 
separately to the Agamemnonidae on another special day, 

10 on which it is unlawful for the women to taste the victims 
offered to those heroes. There is also amongst them 
a temple of Achilles. Now it is said that after the 
Tarentines had taken it, the place which they at present 
inhabit was called Heraclea ; but in the early times, when 
the lonians were in possession, it was named Pleum ^ 

15 and at a still earlier date it was called Sigeum by the 
Trojans, who had gained possession of it. 

Among the Sybarites Philoctetes is said to be honoured; 107 
for that on his return from Troy he founded in the 
Crotonian territory the town called Macalla,^ which they 
say is one hundred and twenty stadia distant;^ and 
historians relate that he dedicated the bow and arrows 

20 of Heracles in the temple of Apollo the sea-god:^ but 
from thence they say that the Crotonians, during their 
dominion, took them, and dedicated them in the temple 
of Apollo in their own city. Now it is said that having 
died there * he lies by the river Sybaris, after he had given 

^ sc. the Argonauts. ^ q^^ ^ii. 67. ^ Polieum ? conj. Sahnasius. 

* Tzetzes on Lycophr. 927 states that Macalla contained the 
sepulchre of Philoctetes, which received divine honours from the 
people. No trace of the town remains. ^ i. e. from Croton. 

^ Probably we should read 'AXai'ou, i. e. releasing from wanderings. 
So Wesseling from Tzetzes on Lycophr. 911 Traucr^eW t^s aA?;s, 'AXai'ou 
'ATrdAXcoj/os Upov kti^ci. 


help to the Rhodians, who along with Tlepolemus had been 25 
carried out of their course to those parts, and had engaged 
in battle with the barbarians who inhabited that country. 

108 In that part of Italy which is called Gargaria, close to 
Metapontium, they say there is a temple of Athene 
Heilenia, where they state that the tools of Epeus were 
dedicated, which he had prepared for the construction of 30 
the wooden horse ; he having given this surname ; ^ for 
Athene appeared to him in a dream and desired him to 
dedicate the tools ; and he being therefore delayed in putt- 
ing out to sea was cooped up^ in the place, unable to sail 
out : whence the temple was called that of Athene Heilenia. 

109 In the district which bears the name of Daunia, there 840^ 
is said to be a temple called that of the Achaean Athene, 

in swhich bronze axes and the arms of Diomedes and his 
companions are dedicated. In this place they state that 5 
there are dogs which do no harm to such of the Greeks 
as come there, but fawn upon them, as though they were 
most familiar to them. Now all the Daunians and the 
neighbouring tribes, both men and women, wear black 
garments, apparently for the following reason — because it 
is said that the Trojan women, who had been taken 10 
captives, and had come to those parts, fearing that they 
might experience hard slavery at the hands of the women 
who already belonged to the Achaeans in their native 
land, set fire to their ships, in order that they might 
escape from the expected slavery, and at the same time, 
that they, being united in wedlock with those men, now 15 
compelled to stay, might have them for their husbands. 
The poet has also very admirably described them ; ^ for 
one may see those women likewise, it seems, * robe- 
trailing ' and ' deep-bosomed \ 
no In the country of the Peucetians * they say there is 20 
a temple of Artemis, in which, they state, is dedicated 
the bronze necklace celebrated in those parts, with the 
inscription — ' Diomede to Artemis '. Now the legend re- 

^ sc. to the goddess. 

^ Gr. elXeladai. 

^ II. vi. 442, vii. 297, xiv. 105, xviii. 122. 

* rieuKej/rivot? S*. The Peucetii were a people of Apulia. 


lates that he put it round the neck of a stag, and that 
it ^ adhered there ; and in this way having been afterwards 
found by Agathocles, king of the Sicilians, it was, they 
affirm, dedicated in the temple of Zeus. ^ 

25 On the promontory of Sicily, called the promontory of iii 
Pelorus, it is stated that so much saffron grows that, while 
by some of the Greeks dwelling in those parts it is not 
known what a valuable flower it is, on the promontory of 

30 Pelorus all who wish bring home large waggon loads of it, and 
in the spring-time strew their beds and stages ^ with saffron. 

Polycritus, who has written the history of Sicily in verse, 112 
states that in a certain part of the interior there is a little 
lake, with a circumference about that of a shield, and this 

35 contains water transparent indeed, but somewhat turbid. 
841^ Now if any one enters this, intending to wash himself, 
it increases in breadth ; but if a second person * enters, it 
grows wider still ; and finally, having grown larger, it 
becomes wide enough for the reception of even fifty men. 
5 But whenever it has received this number, swelling up again 
from the bottom it casts the bodies of the bathers high 
in the air and out on the ground ; but, as soon as this has 
occurred, it returns once more to the original form of its 
circumference. And not only in the case of men does this 
occur with regard to it, but also, if a quadruped enters, 
it experiences the same result. 

10 In the dominion of the Carthaginians ^ they say there is II3 
a mountain which is called Uranion,^ full of all kinds of 
wood and variegated with many flowers, so that the con- 
tiguous places over a wide extent partaking of its fragrance 
waft to the travellers a most agreeable odour. Near this 

15 spot they say that there is a spring of oil, and that it has 
a smell like that of cedar sawdust. But they say that the 
person who approaches it must be chaste, and, if this is 

^ sc. the necklace. ^ We should probably read rrjs Beov. 

^ This is difficult. Natalis renders ' cum . . . et thoros et umbracula 
faciant ex croco ' : so Montesaurus — * lectulos tentoriave sibi ex eo croco 
praeparant *. Schnitzer — inachen sie ihre Matratzen u. Zeltdecken aus 
Safra7i. But probably A. means that they strew their couches and 
stages with the flowers of saffron, instead of the mere essence. Cf. 
Lucret. ii. 416 ; Ovid, A. A. \. 104. 

* Sylburg conj. bevr^pos for MS. devrepop. ^ i.e. in Sicily. 

^ i. e. heavenly. Beckm. reads Fcopiov, Cod. Vind. Ovviov. 


the case, it spouts up the oil in greater abundance, so that 
it can be safely drawn. 

114 Men say that near this spring also there is a natural rock 20 
of great size. Now they say that when summer is come 

it sends up a flame of fire, but when winter arrives, from 
the same place it sends gushing up a stream of water so 
cold that, when compared with snow, it does not dififer 
from it. And this, they declare, is not a secret occurrence, 
nor does it appear for only a short time ; but it sends forth 25 
the fire throughout the whole summer, and the water 
throughout the whole winter. 

115 It is reported that in that part of Thrace which is called 
the country of the Sinti and Maedi, there is a certain river 
named Pontus, in which are carried down certain stones 30 
which burn, and are of a nature opposed to that of charcoal 
from wood ; for while fanned they are quickly extinguished, 
but when sprinkled with water they blaze up and kindle 
better. Now, when they are burning, they have a smell 841^ 
similar to that of bitumen, so bad and pungent that no 
creeping thing remains in the place while they are burning. 

116 They say, moreover, that in their country there is a cer- 
tain place, not very small, about twenty stadia in extent, 
that bears barley, which the men indeed use ; but the horses 
and oxen, or any other animal, will not eat it : nay, not 5 
even does any pig or dog venture to taste the excrement 
of men who after eating a cake or bread made from this 
barley have voided it, as death results from it. 

117 At Scotussae in Thessaly they say there is a little 
fountain from which flows water of such a kind that in ic 
a moment it heals wounds and bruises both of men and of 
beasts of burden ; ^ and if any one throws wood into it, with- 
out having quite broken it, but having merely split it, this 
unites, and is restored again to its original state. 

118 In Thrace above Amphipolis they say that a thing 15 

happens, which is wonderful and incredible to those who 

have not seen it ; for the boys, going forth from the villages 

and neighbouring districts to catch little birds, take the 

, ^ Theopompus ap. Plin. xxxi. 2 makes the same statement, as also 
Sotion, de Fhwi. p. 124, on the authority of Isigonus. Cf. Antigonus 
Car. p. 157. 


hawks to help in catching them, and they do so in this 
20 manner : — When they have advanced to a suitable spot they 
call the hawks by name with a loud cry ; and, when they 
hear the boys' voice, they come and frighten away the birds ; 
these in terror of them take refuge in the bushes, where the 
boys strike them down with sticks and capture them. But 
25 what one would be most of all surprised at is this — whenever 
the hawks themselves have seized any of the birds, they throw 
them down to the bird-catchers, while the boys return home, 
after giving some portion of all their booty to the hawks. 

Another marvel also they say occurs among the Heneti : ^ 119 
30 that countless myriads of jackdaws are frequently borne 
to their country, and eat up the corn when the people 
have sown it. To them the Heneti offer gifts, before the 
842^ birds are about to fly to the borders of the land, throwing 
before them seeds of all kinds of fruits. Now if the jack- 
daws taste these they do not come over into their country, 
and the Heneti know that they will be in peace ; but, if 
they do not taste them, the people thereupon expect an 
attack to be made upon them by their enemies. 

5 In the Thracian Chalcidice,^ near Olynthus, they say I20 
there is a place called Cantharolethros,^ a little larger in 
size than a threshing-floor ; and that when any other living 
creature reaches the spot it departs again ; but none of 
10 the beetles that come there do so ; but they going round 
and round the place die from hunger. 

Among the Thracian Cyclopes there is a little spring 121 
containing water, which in appearance indeed is pure, 
transparent, and like all others ; but, when an animal drinks 
of it, straightway it perishes. 

15 Men say that in Crastonia, near the country of the 122 
Bisaltae, the hares that are captured have two livers ; and 
that there is a certain place, about a rood in extent, into 
which whatever animal Renters dies. There is in the 
same place, besides, a temple of Dionysus, large and 

20 beautiful, in which, when the festival and sacrifice take 

^ i.e. Venetians. "^ Beckm. reads Chalcis. 

^ i. e. Beetles' death. 


place, it is said that a great blaze of fire is seen when 
the god is going to produce a good season, and that 
all those who are assembled round the sacred enclosure 
see it ; when, however, he intends to cause unfruitfulness, 
this light is not seen, but darkness extends over the place, 
as during the other nights. 

123 In Elis they relate that there is a certain building about 25 
eight furlongs distant from the city, in which, at the festival 
of Dionysus, they place three empty copper caldrons. 
Having done this, they request any of the Greeks staying 
in the city, who wishes, to examine the vessels, and to seal 
the doors of the house : then, when they are about to open 30 
them, they point out the seals to the citizens and strangers 
first of all, before they do so. They on entering find the 
caldrons indeed full of wine, but the floor and the walls 
uninjured, so that it is impossible to entertain a suspicion 
that they accomplish this by some trick. Moreover, they say 
that amongst the same people there are kites, which snatch 35 
the meat from those who carry it through the market- 842** 
place, but do not touch the flesh of the sacred victims. 

124 It is said that at Coronea in Boeotia the animals called 5 
moles cannot live, or dig up the ground, w^hile the rest of 
Boeotia possesses a large number of them. 

125 ^t Lusi ^ in Arcadia men say there is a certain spring in 
which field-mice are found and swim, passing their lives in 
it. The same thing is said to occur likewise at Lampsacus. 

126 At Crannon in Thessaly they say there are only two 10 
crows ^ in the city. When these have hatched their young, 
they depart from the place, as it appears, but leave behind 
as many others of their ofl"spring. 

127 In Apollonia, which lies near to the country of the 15 
Taulantii,^ they say there is bitumen obtained by digging, 
and pitch springing up from the earth, in the same manner 

^ Aova-ois Sylb. : MSS. KoKovarois. Antigonus, 152, on the authority 
of Theopompus, makes the same statement with regard to Lusi. So 
Plin. xxxi. 2. 2 Qf ^^ J 27^ 

^ Conj. Brodaeus instead of MS. 'ArXarnKwi/. Holsten. conj. 
'ATivrdvoiv. Apelt reads 'ArXai^Tivoiv. Cf. c. 22. 36. TavXavripcov conj. 
Bussemaker. Codex Vindobon. ^AdirXarivaiv. (The point beneath rr 
implies that it is spurious.) 


as springs of water, in no respect differing from that of 
Macedonia, but that it is naturally blacker and thicker 
than that. And not far from this place there is a fire 

20 burning at all times, as those who dwell in the neighbour- 
hood assert. The burning place, it appears, is not large, 
but about the size of the space occupied by five couches. 
This spot smells of sulphur and alum,^ and thick grass 
grows around, at which one would be most surprised, and 

25 also large trees, not four cubits distant from the fire. 
Moreover, a fire burns constantly in Lycia and near 
Megalopolis in Peloponnesus. 

It is said also that among the Illyrians the cattle bring 128 
forth young twice in the year, and that most of them have 
twins, and that many goats bring forth three or four kids 
30 at a time, and some even five or more ; and, besides, that 
they readily yield nine pints of milk. They say too that 
the hens do not lay merely once, as among other nations, 
but twice or thrice in the day. 

It is said that the wild oxen in Paeonia are far larger 129 
than those that are found in other nations, and that their 
35 horns contain twenty-four pints, and those of some of them 
even more. 

843^ Concerning the Sicilian Strait, apart from what many 130 
other writers have written, this author ^ states that a por- 
tentous occurrence takes place : the billows, he says, being 
carried with a loud whistling sound from the Tyrrhenian 
6 Sea, dash against both the promontories, that of Sicily and 
that of Italy, which is called Rhegium, and being borne 
from a great sea are shut up in a narrow space ; and when 
this occurs they raise the waves with a loud roar in mid- 
air to a very great height, as they dash upwards, so that 
10 the rising of the waters is visible to those who are far 
away, not resembling the rising of the sea, but white and 
foaming, and similar to the sweeping movements which 
take place in excessively violent storms : and that some- 
times the waves meet each other on both the promontories 

^ Or vitriol. ''■ Polycritus probably. Cf. c. 112. Sylburg 

thinks that these two chapters should be connected together. 


and produce a collision ^ incredible in description, and unen- 15 
• durable for the eyes to behold ; but at other times parting, 
after dashing against each other, they show an abyss,^ so 
deep and horrible to those who are compelled to look on, 
that many are unable to restrain themselves, and fall, 
blinded with terror. But when the waves, after dashing 20 
on either of the two places and being carried to the tops 
of the promontories, have descended again into the sea 
flowing beneath, then again with loud bellowing and great 
and swift eddies the sea boils up, and is lifted on high from 
the depths in confusion, and assumes alternately all kinds 25 
of hues, for it appears at one time dark, at another blue, 
and oftentimes of a purplish colour : but no creeping thing 
can endure either to hear or to see the quick rush and 
length of this sea, and besides these its ebb, but all flee to 
the low-lying skirts of the mountains ; but, when the heaving 30 
of the billows ceases, the eddies are borne on high, making 
such various twistings that they seem to produce movements 
resembling the coils of presteres,^ or some other large snakes. 

131 Men say that, while the Athenians were building the 843^ 
temple of Demeter at Eleusis, a brazen pillar was found 
surrounded with rocks, on which had been inscribed — 
'This is the tomb of Deiope', whom some state to have 
been the wife of Musaeus, others the mother of Triptolemus. 5 

132 In one of the islands, called the islands of Aeolus, they 
say that a large number of palm-trees grow, whence it is 
also called ' Palm-island ' ; therefore that could not be true 
which is asserted by Callisthenes, that the tree* received 
its name from the Phoenicians, who inhabited the sea-coast 10 

. of Syria. But some state that the Phoenicians themselves 
received this name from the Greeks, because they, first of 
all sailing over the sea, slew and murdered all, wherever they 
landed. And moreover in the language of the Perrhaebians 
the verb * phoenixai ' means * to stain with blood '.^ 

^ The Laurentian MS. reads crvyKkeia-fiov : so Beckm. The Cod. Vind. 
has (Tvy<\vaix6i/. ^ lit. make the prospect. 

^ 7rpr]aTr]p(ov. The bite of these snakes caused the victim to swell 
{7rpr,6(o), and produced burning thirst. Cf. Lucan ix. 791 ' torridus 
prester'. Cf. Diosc. ed. Spengel, II. 71. 675. Lenz, Zoo/, d. Gr. u. 
Rom. 469. ■* i. e. phoenix. 

° Nicander Alex. 187 has (j)oiv6s = (f)6vos. Cf. (Jiovevw. 


15 In what is called the Aeniac district, in the neighbour- 133 
hood of the city named Hypate,^ an old pillar is said to 
have been discovered ; and the Aenianians, wishing to 
know to whom it belonged, as it had an inscription in 
ancient characters, sent certain persons to take it to Athens. 
But as they were proceeding through Boeotia, and were 

20 communicating to some of their guest friends the object 
of their journey, it is said that they were conducted into 
the so-called Ismenium ^ at Thebes ; for there the meaning 
of the inscription could be most easily discovered, they 
said, adding that there were in that place some ancient 
dedicatory offerings having the forms of the letters similar 
to those of the one in question : whence they say that, 

25 having found an explanation of the objects of their inquiry, 
from what was already known to them, they copied down 
the following lines : — 

I Heracles offered the grove to the beaming goddess 

When I had Geryon's herds, and Erytheia for spoil ; 
For with desire for her the goddess had vanquished 

my heart. 
30 But here my wife Erythe brings forth Erython as her 

Nymph-born maid Erythe, to whom I yielded the plain, 
Sacred memorial of love under the shade of the beech. 

844^ With this inscription both that place corresponded, being 

called Erythus, and also the fact that it was from thence, 

and not from Erytheia, that he drove away the cows ; for 

5 they say that nowhere either in the parts of Libya or 

Iberia is the name of Erytheia to be found. 

In the city called Utica in Libya, which is situated, as 134 
they say, on the gulf between the promontory of Hermes ^ 
and that of Hippos, and about two hundred furlongs 
10 beyond Carthage (now Utica also is said to have been 
founded by Phoenicians two hundred and eighty-seven 
years before Carthage itself, as is recorded in the Phoeni- 
cian histories), men state that salt is obtained by digging 

^ In Thessaly. "^ i. e. temple of Ismenian Apollo. 

^ Utica lay between the Hermaeum Promontorium, mod. Ras el 
Kanais, and the promontory of Apollo, mod. Ras Sidi Ali. Cf. Kiepert, 
who identifies the latter with C. Bon, though others identify it with 
C. Zibeeb, or C. Farina. 


at a depth of eighteen feet, in appearance white and not 
solid, but resembling the most sticky gum ; and that when 
brought into the sun it hardens, and becomes like Parian 15 
marble; and they say that from it are carved figures of 
animals, and utensils besides. 

135 It is said that those of the Phoenicians who first sailed 
to Tartessus,^ after importing to that place oil^ and other 
small wares of maritime commerce, obtained for their 
return cargo so great a quantity of silver, that they were 20 
no longer able to keep or receive it, but were forced, when 
sailing away from those parts, to make of silver not only 
all the other articles which they used, but also all their 

135 They say that the Phoenicians who inhabit the city 
called Gades, when they sail outside the Pillars of Heracles 25 
under an easterly wind for four days, arrive at certain 
desolate places, full of rushes and seaweed, and that these 
places are not covered with water, whenever there is an 
ebb, but, whenever there is a flood, they are overflowed, 
and in these there is found an exceeding great number of 30 
tunnies, of a size and thickness surpassing belief, when 
they are stranded. These they salt, pack up in vessels, 
and convey to Carthage. They are the only fish which 
the Carthaginians do not export ; on account of their 
excellence for food, they consume them themselves. 

137 In the district of Pedasa in Caria a sacrifice is celebrated 35 
in honour of Zeus, at which they send in the procession 844^ 
a she-goat, with regard to which they say that a marvellous 
thing occurs ; for while it proceeds from Pedasa a distance 
of seventy furlongs, through a dense crowd of people 
looking on, it is neither disturbed in its progress, nor is 
turned out of the way, but, being tied with a rope, advances 5 
before the man who holds the priesthood. 

[And they say that its horns contain twenty- four pints, 
and in some cases even more.] What is wonderful is that 
two crows stay continually about the temple of Zeus, while 

^ A Phoenician settlement, probably the Tarshish of Scripture. 
It has been identified with the city of Carteia on Mt. Calpe, mod. 


no other approaches the spot, and that one of them has 
the front part of its neck white. 

In the country of those Illyrians who are called Ardiaei, 138 

10 near the boundaries separating them from the Antariates, 
they say there is a great mountain, and near this a valley, 
from which water springs up, not at every season, but 
during the spring, in great abundance ; which the people 
take, and keep during the day indeed in a cellar, but 

15 during the night they set it in the open air. And, after 
they have done this for five or six days, the water congeals, 
and becomes the most excellent salt, which they preserve 
especially for the sake of the cattle : for salt is not imported 
to them, because they live at a distance from the sea, and 
have no intercourse with others. They have therefore 

20 most need of it for their cattle ; for they supply them with 
salt twice in the year ; but if they fail to do this, the result 
is that most of their cattle perish. 

In Argos they say there is a species of locust which 139 

35 is called the scorpion-fighter ; ^ for, as soon as it sees 
a scorpion, it attacks him, and likewise the scorpion attacks 
it. It chirps as it goes round him in a circle. The other, 
they say, raises his sting, and turns it round against his 
adversary in the same spot; then he gradually lets his sting 
drop, and at last stretches himself out altogether on the 
ground, while the locust runs round him. At last the locust 

30 approaches and devours him. They say that it is good 

to eat the locust as an antidote against the scorpion's sting. 

They say that the wasps in Naxos, when they have 140 

tasted the flesh of the viper (and its flesh, as it appears, 

is agreeable to them), and when they have afterwards 

stung any one, inflict so much pain, that their sting seems 

more dangerous than that of the vipers. 

845* They say that the Scythian poison, in which that people 141 

dips its arrows, is procured from the viper. The Scythians, 

it would appear, watch those that are just bringing forth 

young, and take them, and allow them to putrefy for 

some days. But when the whole mass appears to them 

^ Similar to this was the locust called 6(f>iofxaxos. That in the text 
may be the wingless locust called daipaKos or ovos by Dioscor. ii. 57, 
who says that the Libyans at Leptis eat them greedily. 


to have become sufficiently rotten, they pour human blood 5 
into a little pot, and, after covering it with a lid, bury it 
in a dung-hill. And when this likewise has putrefied, they 
mix that which settles on the top,^ which is of a watery 
nature, with the corrupted blood of the viper, and thus 
make it a deadly poison. 

142 At Curium^ in Cyprus they say there is a species of 10 
snake, which has similar power to that of the asp in 
Egypt, except that, if it bites in the winter, it produces no 
effect, whether from some other reason, or because when 
congealed with cold the reptile loses its power of move- 
ment, and becomes completely powerless, unless it be 

143 In Ceos they say there is a species of wild pear ^ of such 15 
a kind that, if any one be wounded by its thorn, he dies. 

144 In Mysia they say tliere is a white species of bears, 
which, when they are hunted, emit a breath of such a kind 
as to rot the flesh of the dogs, and likewise of other wild 
beasts, and render them unfit for food. But, if any one 20 
approaches them with violence, they discharge, it appears, 
from the mouth a very great quantity of phlegm, which 
the animal blows upon the faces of the dogs, and of the 
men as well, so as to choke and blind them. 

145 In Arabia they say there is a certain kind of hyaena, 
which, when it sees some wild beast, before being itself 25 
seen, or steps on the shadow of a man, produces speech- 
lessness, and fixes them to the spot in such a way that 
they cannot move their body ; and it is said that they 
do this in the case of dogs also. 

146 In Syria they say there is an animal, which is called 
the lion-killer ; for the lion, it seems, dies, whenever he 
eats any of it. He does not indeed do this willingly, but 30 
rather flees from the animal ; but when the hunters, having 
caught and roasted it, sprinkle it, like white meal, over 
some other animal, they say that the lion, after tasting 
it, dies on the spot. This animal injures the lion even 
by making water upon it. 

* Bonitz conj. €</)to-Ta/iei/oi'. * Cf. c. 43. 

,^ The Schol. on Theocr. 24. 88 explains the word as aKavOatdis 4>vt6v 
f^ov ras alixncrias noiovai, ^yovv t) ajrios fj dyp'ia. 

AR. M. A. D 


the summits of the so-called Black Mountains, but turn 
back when they have pursued them as far as these. 

In the river Phasis it is related that a rod called the 158 
30 ' White-leaved ' grows, which jealous husbands pluck, and 
throw round the bridal-bed,^ and thus preserve their 
marriage unadulterated. 

In the Tigris they say there is a stone found, called in 159 
the barbarian language Modon, with a very white colour, 
and that, if any one possesses this, he is not harmed by 
wild beasts. 

35 In the Scamander they say a plant grows, called Sistros,^ 160 
resembling chick-pea, and that it has seeds that shake, 
from which fact it has obtained its name : those who 
possess it (so it is said) fear neither demon nor spectre 
of any kind. 

In Libya there is a vine, which some people call mad, 161 
^aQ^ that ripens some of its fruit, others it has like unripe grapes, 
and others in blossom, and this during a short time. 

On Mount Sipylus they say there is a stone like a 162 
cylinder, which, when pious sons have found it, they place 
5 in the sacred precincts of the Mother of the Gods, and 
never err through impiety, but are always affectionate to 
their parents. 

On Mount Taygetus (it is said) there is a plant called 163 
Charisia,^ which women in the beginning of spring fasten 
round their necks, and are loved more passionately by their 

10 Othrys is a mountain of Thessaly, which produces 164 
serpents that are called Sepes,* which have not a single 
colour, but always resemble the place in which they live. 
Some of them have a colour like that of land-snails, while 
the scales of others are of a bright green ; but all of them 

15 that dwell in the sands become like these in colour. When 
they bite they produce thirst. Now their bite is not rough 
and fiery, but malicious. 

1 lit. maiden bed-chamber. ^ i. e. shaking-plant. 

* i.e. love-plant. * i. e. putrefaction-serpents. 


165 When the dark-coloured adder copulates with the female, 
the female during the copulation bites off the head of the 
male ; therefore also her young ones, as though avenging 20 
their father's death, burst through their mother's belly. 

166 In the river Nile they say that a stone like a bean is 
produced, and that, if dogs see it, they do not bark. It is 
beneficial also to those who are possessed by some demon ; 
for, as soon as it is applied to the nostrils, the demon 25 

167 In the Maeander, a river of Asia, they say that a stone 
is found, called by contradiction ' sound-minded ' ; for if 
one throws it into any one's bosom he becomes mad, and 
kills some one of his relations. 

168 The rivers Rhine and Danube flow towards the north, 
one passing the Germans, the other the Paeonians. In the 30 
summer they have a navigable stream, but in the winter 
they are congealed from the cold, and form a plain over 
which men ride. 

169 Near the city of Thurium they say there are two rivers, 
the Sybaris and the Crathis. Now the Sybaris causes the 
horses that drink of it to be timorous, while the Crathis 35 
makes men yellow-haired when they bathe in it. 

170 In Euboea there are said to be two rivers ; the sheep 
that drink from one of them become white ; it is called 
Cerbes : the other is the Neleus, which makes them black. 

171 Near the river Lycormas ^ it is said that a plant ^ grows, 847* 
which is like a lance, and is most beneficial in the case of 
dim sight. 

172 They say that the fountain of Arethusa at Syracuse 
in Sicily is set in motion every five years. 

173 On Mount Berecynthius ^ it is said that a stone is pro- 5 
duced called 'the Sword', and if any one finds it, while 
the mysteries of Hecate are being celebrated, he becomes 
mad, as Eudoxus affirms. 

^ A river of Aetolia, Plut. de Fluv. 8. 

^ It was called o-dpicra-n from its shape. 

^ In Phrygia, sacred to Cybele. It is elsewhere written BepeKVPTos. 



On Mount Tmolus ^ it is said that a stone is produced 174 
like pumice-stone, which changes its colour four times 
10 in the day ; and that it is only seen by maidens who 
have not yet attained to years of discretion. 

847^ On the altar of the Orthosian 2 Artemis it is said that 175 
a golden bull stands, which bellows when hunters enter 
the temple. 

Among the Aetolians it is said that moles see, but only 176 
dimly, and do not feed on the earth, but on locusts. 

5 They say that elephants are pregnant during the space 177 
of two years, while others say during eighteen months ; 
and that in bringing forth they suffer hard labour. 

They say that Demaratus, the pupil of the Locrian 178 
Timaeus, having fallen sick, was dumb for ten days ; but 
on the eleventh, having slowly come to his senses after 
his delirium, he declared that during that time he had 
10 lived most agreeably. 

^ A mountain of Lydia, mod. Boz-dagh, from which the Pactolus 

^ She was also called Orthia, from Mt. Orthium or Orthosium in 
Arcadia. Cf. Hesych. 'Opdia, Aprefxis, ovT(iis etprjrai CLTTO Tov iv ^hpKabia 
X<*>piov, evOa Upbv ^Aprefxidos tdpvTat. 








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